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UPDATED: 09:46, May 12, 2004
Rescue work for the trapped miners in North China making headway
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Progress were made in the rescue efforts to find 15 miners who have been trapped for nearly 12 days in a flooded coal mine in Wuhai City, north China's Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, as hope fades for them to be found alive.

By 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, 71,715 cubic meter water has been discharged from the tunnel and the water level has reduced by 2.71meters.

Thirty-two miners were working underground when the accident took place and seventeen of them have been rescued.

The flooded Xinyuan Coal Mine is located in Hainan District of Wuhai City. It reports a reserve of one million tons and its annual production capacity is 30,000 tons.

The coal mine was ordered to halt production due to bad ventilation on April 28 by the local coal mine safety supervision administration. Operation illegally resumed covertly by the coal mine owner was blamed for the accident, according to the first phase of investigation work.

The owner of the coal mine, Wei Lian, and head of the miners, Liu Quanyou, have been detained by the police, and the mine's shareholders Zhang Husheng and Wang Shoucheng have been kept under surveillance by the police.

Source: Xinhua

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